Christopher Ujine Ong is a freelance writer in Singapore. His poems
have appeared previously in Capsule, Aesthetica and The 2nd Rule.

In August


in this present time, as will be for the moment, everything is a grey, a sea and a sky at 3 in the morning, or sleeping lucid, you think everything like grey vividly dreamt. it helps to think in a colour, it makes things right

(your eyes open as you look outside)

the outside comes into view, hungry for sight. the outside demands this, is patient, is paint, refuses this game of grey and stares. as eyes catch up, grey loses reality, landscapes are stroked from broad to fine, blinks abstracting thoughts, flickering forms, speckling shapes, to an art within you. life will have its day. life, cannot be less then this sum of colour

(from the outside you step in)

from the door, coming in quiet, you never approach quiet, so there must be news. keeping close to the walls, standing against the grey, looking all pale, your wants, to fade into chiaroscuro and concrete. this room becomes the glass theatre, where every thought, word, deed is reflected, refracted, magnified, these actions are the glass menageries becoming your body, where and when light from the outside hits as you look to the sky outside, memories and desires die, lit like small vessels of flame, meaning to burn, meant to be burnt. but you never want to be this naked

(you look outside)

in a motion to sit, in stunned hesitancy, in halted anxiety, you pose like the truth catches you, fumbling with the edges of table, collars and newspapers, eyes busy around the room to an uneasy chasing movement, speaking loud and soft fragments, sentences clinking in this place and that other, face to face, still distant chimes, never sounding together

(i look outside)

you, at the clock, the hour hand points your way, the second hand ticks you conscious, in this moment, the minutes falling into a mutter of names, an account, a situation, a relation of an incident, and you exit lighter, then when you came. everything then feels like a film

(i look outside)

the outside films me switching on the radio, there is the music, some words, a dedication, and static and voice and static. there are announcements, reports, headlines, punchlines, places, accidents, deaths... names

(i look outside)

should have some play in me, could go out and breathe, could go see the sky outside. the outside frames me

(as i look inside)

in this perfect moment, at this time, when the outside loses reality, when we have played out roles, played out lives, I'll call you to tell you to let you know, that I've heard, that I've listened

a wake

in august

Physics I

she knows physics and love;
she folds me into herself,
collapsing arms, a chair, legs -
ourselves a trellis stage
- a page of easy origami

"there" she says,
"love's a wormhole;
from there, I've made you here."
armed thus, I suspect that
she expects that
we will travel
across the universe.

For R & A

a slow catch at the turn of head, these words slant, slide, side wind, downward drift; sticks, stones, slips, leaves from the slit of mouth;
nervy, sinewy, castor snakes, thorny twine twirling into a fork, a four worded wave

"this should be over"

this, over. what is this over?
not the edge of this table in between, or not over time, not over space, or not over anger or guilt or jealousy, or not over anyone, not over me, over me

"this should be over"

so this is love, lover
your hand overshadowing mine to cinch me at the wrist; the comfort of two, over a day,
in the crouch of one bed; my fingers reposed on your back, your body reposed over mine
this is over, love

draw a thread
from quiet ruins, towns, rooms, through familiar country, county, homes
draw it through needling friends into a secret, into the body's trust in thrusting trysts,
into an optic nerve telescoping into fibrous, buoying, promising, futures

draw into a line
wrinkling in the plush of palm, fingers flowering, revealing this serpentine slink between thumb and finger point, slithering across the open hand's plains, into the air, the invisible,
drawn into absence

this absence.
is before me, after love, now? devoid of lies, a void of truths, avoid? a presence, another, the other?
the truth, before us, is this absence;
absence that is not the taking away of, as over is not what is left, but who left,
an absence that should be taken away, this over, taken over,
for this should be, this should be,

"this should be"

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